Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary : a Biography

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PublicAffairs, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 345 pages
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Zhou Enlai, the premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976, is the last Communist political leader to be revered by the Chinese people. He is considered "a modern saint" who offered protection to his people during the Cultural Revolution; an admirable figure in an otherwise traumatic and bloody era. Works about Zhou in China are heavily censored, and every hint of criticism is removed—so when Gao Wenqian first published this groundbreaking, provocative biography in Hong Kong, it was immediately banned in the People's Republic.

Using classified documents spirited out of China, Gao Wenqian offers an objective human portrait of the real Zhou, a man who lived his life at the heart of Chinese politics for fifty years, who survived both the Long March and the Cultural Revolution not thanks to ideological or personal purity, but because he was artful, crafty, and politically supple. He may have had the looks of a matinee idol, and Nixon may have called him "the greatest statesman of our era," but Zhou's greatest gift was to survive, at almost any price, thanks to his acute understanding of where political power resided at any one time.

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User Review  - beebowallace - LibraryThing

I knew little about Zhou Enlai other than what I had been told about him. After reading Gao's biography, I find him to be a much more complex actor in the Cultural Revolution than what I had previously known. Read full review

Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Zhou Enlai had one of the longest careers of any world statesman. He came to national prominence in 1919 as part of China's antiimperialist May Fourth Movement, lived to welcome Richard Nixon to ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Gao Wenqian is the former official biographer of Zhou Enlai at the Chinese Institute of Central Documents. He participated in preparing the official versions of Biography of Mao Zedong and Biography of Zhou Enlai, granting him access to highly classified archives of the Chinese Communist Party. Gao came to the U.S. in 1993 as visiting scholar at Columbia University. Later, he received funding from the Wilson International Center at Princeton University and Harvard University. He lives in Queens, New York.

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